Not Hooda, MP calls shots here
Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is, arguably, the tallest leader of the Congress in the state. But in the affairs of the Millennium City, no one can rival local MP Rao Inderjit Singh, at least it seems.
In the election for the top posts in the MCG on Tuesday, the supporters of the MP defeated the panel which had the blessings of the chief minister.
Rumours are that Singh had struck an ‘arrangement’ with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
For the two top posts, the fight was between candidates supported by the Congress. But one candidate was supported by the Gurgaon MP and another by MLAs Rao Dharampal and Sukhbir Kataria from Hooda group.
Candidates supported by Singh such as Vimal Yadav, 32 (Mayor), Yashpal Batra (senior deputy mayor) and Parminder Kataria (deputy mayor) emerged victorious. Kataria was ousted from BJP after he had decided to contest as independent in the municipal election.
For the post of mayor, both the contestants, Vimal Yadav and Seema Pahuja, are from Congress.
Councillors having Singh’s support as well as BJP councillors voted for Vimal Yadav.
Six councillors of the Indian National Lok Dal staged a walkout and did not participate in the voting process.
For the post of deputy mayor, Parminder Kataria got 20 votes, while opponent Rama Rani Rathee managed to bag only nine votes. For the post of senior deputy mayor, Yashpal Batra, who polled 19 votes, defeated Mahesh Dayma by nine votes. Both the councillors were supported by two different groups of Congress.
'Babus no longer in charge here'
Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh is the person who brought to an end the month-long wait to install a mayor for the MCG.
Now that the MCG has got a mayor of your choice, would you revive your pending demand to set up Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA) on the lines of Noida?
Of course. We need the GDA for Gurgaon because all crucial decisions are taken by babus in Chandigarh. Then GDA will look after the needs of the entire district, while MCG has limited jurisdiction. The GDA will also have its own commissioner.
How will the mayor-run MCG make a difference?
Since the babus operating in Gurgaon work via a remote control in Chandigarh, our councillors will ensure that revenue generated in Gurgaon is spent here, not elsewhere, as is the case currently. Gurgaon generates 50% of the state’s revenue but hardly anything is spent for local development.
How will the councillors ensure that money generated in Gurgaon is spent here?
We are the majority in MCG, with a mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor. Hence, our councillors will oppose any move that goes against development of Gurgaon. The MCG will also have its own budget.
But BJP councillors voted in favour of four Congress candidates... How?
No, we did not communicate with any party. The reason is those councillors thought out of the box, cutting across party lines, to vote for deserving candidates. Development, not politics, reigns supreme.